Home | About | Tournament Winning Decklists | Forums

Does OP support scrubs?

A thousand times this. FFGOP did a phenomenal job creating an event structure that appeals to players at all levels, and either by accident or design, the ANR community is welcoming enough that players making the jump from casual night -> GNK -> SC -> Regionals for the first time still have fun. As someone that’s very much not a classical Spike, I’ve never felt like there wasn’t room/support for me at FFGOP events.

1 Like

I agree with most of your post.

One should respect their opponent at all times, but one should also not apologize for doing what is necessary to win. If a prison style deck is the best choice in the meta at the time, use it.

If a player is becoming frustrated with a game, they can concede. I would recommend playing it out. It will give them a better understanding of how both the prison deck works, and how they deck works against it. I will always be more than happy to talk with my opponent after the tournament is completed about how to play with or against the deck. If they become better, it is a greater challenge for me.

Years ago, I was playing in a modified Vintage tournament. Power was banned, and it had a slightly modified restricted list. No swiss because there wasn’t really any freely available tournament software at the time, we instead just lined up when we completed our games, and took on the next person who came up in line. I was playing Oath with Akroma and Darksteel Colossus. I got paired up with a kid, couldnt have been more than 10, playing his pet elf deck. First turn I play an oath. He plays an elf. I oath the DSC and crush him on turn 4 with plenty of counter backup. Second game I first turn tinker out the DSC and kill him again on turn 3. He was taken aback and clearly rattled as this was his second set of games. I treated him as I did every opponent. I shook his hand before and after the match, and was polite through both games. I don’t trash talk strangers. I don’t think it adds anything to the game, and I don’t see any tactical advantage to it.

Because our match finished rather quickly and it was obvious to me that this kid was unlikely to make it into the elimination rounds, I fanned my deck and sideboard out and proceeded to show him how it worked, and why I made the decisions I did. I then had him fan his deck out and show me his thought process behind his play decisions and deck choices. He had a really bad mana base to splash in some of his favorite creatures. He also had a really bad mana curve. I did my best to explain these concepts to him, and I gave him some cheaper cards out of my trade binder that I thought might help him out in a later tournament.

I never played in another tournament at that venue because the city was a little too far away and none of my friends wanted to go. I hope the kid took my advice, or he found a more suitable group of people to play with that would allow him to play his elf deck and enjoy it.


I think there’s a tough distinction to be made here, which is between what is good for competition and which is good for the long-term health of the game. If you read Sirlin’s article as-is and take it as a value proposition then he is saying things like “IG prison is a good deck” and by good he both means “it is strong” but also “because it beats people you should play it” and there is a semi-undertone that is not explicitly said but is often read from it “IG prison is good for the game as a whole”.

I know a lot of the competitive netrunner players who do things like flock from IG prison to CTM and have been playing Whizz for the last year are still perfectly capable of making judgments about the quality of the game’s health and can say “Yes Sifr Dumblefork is a good deck and yes I will be playing it, but no Sifr is not good for the game and I think FFGOP should do something about it”. I know Dan D would quite frequently say that IG prison is bad for the game even after winning regionals by playing it.

On the flip side, I think part of Sirlin’s writing is reactionary, because a lot of the times people who could be classified as “scrubs” have an immature handle on losing or not being the best. They’ll say things like “I argue that the best players of this game are not the end all be all they claim to be, and therefore their opinion is often with eyes wide shut.” which is both disingenuous and inflammatory. Sirlin is probably upset at this, and has reacted somewhat in kind. I don’t blame him, but unfortunately the best thing to do here is to work with these people and take the high road in your arguments.

In short:
Play the best decks, don’t shame people for playing the best decks, but still be willing to look at the meta as a whole and suggest changes. Don’t let competitiveness be an excuse for lazily accepting the status quo.


If I misconstrued or misrepresented what you said, my apologies. I find the structure of Netrunner interesting and different from anything out right now. I also picked it up because I was curious about the original when it first came out, but I was already playing MtG, Battletech and Star Wars and didnt have the disposable income to play another game. It is a good game and certainly appears to have remained in the spirit of the original.

By “no puzzle left”, do you mean when it feels like the meta is solved and a clear winner is present? I agree that sometimes there is a point when a meta has become so broken something must be done. I’ve played a lot of games and many have become degenerate over time, and Netrunner has never been that bad in my opinion.

Many times, an opponent that feels a loss was inevitable was either poorly prepared for the challenge, or they missed the appropriate windows to disrupt and beat they opponent. I do no agree that gameplay is more important than preparation. Often the practice and weapon choice of the gladiator is more important that what happens in the arena.

Combo decks can be difficult to pilot. Often, in order to maximize the number of pieces needed to fire, safety and protection must be reduced and the deck is fragile. Once the puzzle of a combo deck is solved, the pilot is at a disadvantage. They would be best served to find a way to alter as much of their deck as possible to force their opponents to defeat them in a different way.

If the question is “Should Netrunner OP be not 100% focused on competive but also create events for casual/non-competive players” then I agree. The Netrunner OP is built around tournaments and nothing else. Having the goal for events being to bit top place means that the only people who will keep showing up to tournaments are people who are highly motivated to win. It’s not a bad thing, but anyone who doesn’t like the competitive setting for netrunner will just not want to show up.

I think FFG is starting to think the 100% focus on competive OP to the exclusion of casual OP is limiting the appeal of netrunner outside of competitive play, hence the (seemingly last minute) TD event. It doesn’t seem focused on winning but instead completing objectives over x games. It’s an interesting departure though it does seem like organizing the TD event is coming at the cost of competive play getting an MWL update or even word on regionals (I don’t know why Regionals were not announced shortly after the end of store champ season).

With all of this said, I have no idea what FFG is actually doing because they don’t seem to view a long period of silence on games as a bad thing. I understand not promising anything that not concrete and how talk is cheap but the lack of communication as to when we can expect regionals or TD is just making think they don’t particularly care about netrunner.

I don’t have anything to base this on, but I have a theory. It’s time to grab your tin-foil hats!

My theory is that FFG is really pushing the Regional tournament as a 2-day affair. I only know a few stores in my area well enough to know what they applied for, but they all applied to hold a 1-day regional tournament, and were subsequently told they did not win the bid. It is possible (adjust foil hat) that FFG is focusing on pushing 2-day regionals to the point of excluding known stores to host them in favor of finding someone who will host a 2-day event for them.

This would explain why so many stores in major cities have only been able to report that they are not hosting regional tournaments. I doubt many applied to host 2-day events, and FFG OP thinks they are somehow really great ideas.

Unfortunately, I personally don’t have much/any interest in a 2-day tournament, even if it was held across the street from my house, much less traveling 2-4 hours and getting a hotel.

Two-day regional events were a bigger topic of conversation two years ago, when Regionals were often 70+ in the U.S. With that size, some would start at 10 in the morning and not finish until after midnight. So spanning it over two days made more sense.

Not sure if there’s a need for a two-day event with the numbers we’re expecting this year.

If there’s a side event on day two for people who don’t make the cut, then I think I’d prefer a two-day event if I have to travel far enough that I’d want to stay overnight. I think I’d still prefer it even if the regional itself was all on day one and day two was only the side event.

I dunno, FFG publicly announced side event kits for Game of Thrones regionals that wanted to use 2 days this year. Why would they not announce anything for 2 day Netrunner regionals if they wanted to do it for Netrunner too?

I mean, aside from FFG being awful at communicating…

Occam says it is likely this.


there are Timmy, Johnny, and Spike players

Spike player will likely win tournaments but have less fun overall

tournaments aren’t about fun though; they’re about winning.

organised play, however, has many ‘scrub’ support for people who play to fun instead of play to win

par example:

participation prizes. leagues where most of the points are from crazy achievements (granted, some of that is player-run and controlled, but they do this on purpose). Scorched Earth prize for last place (again, player-run and controlled, but it’s incentive for people to have fun)
also didn’t nationals have a prize for best in faction?

there’s also Terminal Directive soon, whose launch event is just for completing achievements to get prizes.

yes, everyone wants the byes, the trophies, and the sweet rare mats and alt-arts, but everyone gets something just for showing up, so even if you’re bad or just want to play for fun, or if you’re a scrub who puts unreasonable limitations on yourself, you can still go home with something

Point of order, Spikes may not have more “fun”, but they’re likely the ones who get the most satisfaction out of playing. Taking something seriously and excelling at it is a good feeling.

There aren’t hard “Timmy, Johnny and Spike players”, they’re supposed to be tendencies that all players express to varying degrees. Some of the spikiest players I know enjoy the hell out of draft or alternate formats. What you’d usually term “spike” players are also doing things like Snekdraft or the US/UK all-kill showdown, and those are more than ‘play the best deck to win’. ‘Spikes’ want to play in achievement leagues and the Terminal Directive campaign too. The problem’s always been clear communication both from organizers, OP, and between players themselves - when two players sit down with a tuned CtM list against some jank Professor it’s not a failure of the game so much as a failure of expectations. Neither’s gonna be happy.

I don’t really get see it as an OP problem of catering to one kind of player or another, but failing to get creative enough to engage with the full potential of the game when they can just print out GNK kits and expect the same old format to suffice. And sure, staff and resourcing is always an issue there - It is inherently easier to just print a kit and do the established Swiss tournament than it is to develop or encourage some alternative format. I think the TD events are a step in the right direction - it might ultimately not work out, but OP shouldn’t be discouraged from trying new things again. Anything that sends a clear signal of “the usual rules don’t apply here” to manage player expectations is probably worth attempting.


[quote=“ulrikdan, post:32, topic:8768, full:true”]
Point of order, Spikes may not have more “fun”, but they’re likely the ones who get the most satisfaction out of playing. Taking something seriously and excelling at it is a good feeling.
[/quote]could you expand on this point more?

more specifically, how does this contradict what i said and how does it add context to the overall discussion?

i feel like your entire post was written to contradict everything i said, but it doesn’t actually

i never said every player is either a hard johnny, timmy, spike, just that these types exist

i never said Spike players wouldn’t enjoy the things i listed.

i never said anything was a problem; the OP did.

but i was replying to a very specific question put forth by the OP and responded specifically to that.

Sorry, should have been clear - I was going from your first point then pivoting to the topic at hand, wasn’t meant as a contradiction.

Because you only mentioned “fun” and “winning”, which are not at all the only dimensions to playing games. The satisfaction of challenging yourself and playing a tight game against worthy opponents is key to the “spike” mentality. You can call this “fun” if you want, and it sorta is, but if so it directly contradicts your statement that Spikes have less fun.

1 Like

ah, makes more sense now.

you do realise i’m responding to the OP though, right? i agree with you, but like i already said, i was replying to a very specific question posed by the OP and nothing else. i mean, sure, you can pick apart things that i’ve said, but it isn’t really reflexive of the overall topic because spike players are not the topic at all

Less fun is such a loaded set of words. But this is a digression, so better let it lie.